Friday, February 23rd we hosted the first annual Voicefound [un]gala. Our special guest for the evening was Torre Marie – a survivor of child sex abuse and the subject of our soon to be released documentary, ‘The Yellow Dress – A Story of Hope.’ Torre spoke to the crowd after the documentary was aired and her words made a significant impact on all who were there. Many have asked for a copy of what she said and so we are happy to share her speech below.
“Last week I quickly heard someone state that being described as lost is being described as valuable.
It began a firestorm of thoughts. To be lost and to be noticed means at least one other person sees you. Values you. Misses you. Is looking for you.
I have been invisible a very long time. Most of the time I still feel that way.
There are certain people in a person’s life that can be invaluable – they have insight in knowing, proclaiming, and speaking to the lost and forgotten. Personally, these people in my life are my Traumatologist, Cynthia Bland and Voicefound, and a very few friends I have here tonight.
There are too many times where we as a society don’t look up. Where we yell for each other to stop doing what we are doing to survive and remind each other of the annoyances our coping has created. There are too many lost with no one noticing. To many people walking around invisible. Unvalued, and misunderstood. What you have done tonight. What you can continue to do tonight and everyday from here on is to say “I see you.”
By being here and by supporting this fundraiser and VoiceFound, you are saying, “you are lost, we notice, we care and we are going to help find you.” So I thank you. Without the support of Cynthia and Voicefound, and the others I mentioned I would still feel invisible. So I offer my gratitude, I know you see me. You accept me for who I am. Where I am. And most importantly you are on this journey with me to find me.
For a long time I was lost. I was lost and walking around in this world unnoticed. My experiences and my pain unvalidated. It wasn’t until I was seen in my darkest hours that I knew I was worth something. Worth the work, worth the fight, to heal and to find freedom from the invisibility that suffocated all hope.
To the survivors here tonight. I see you. I know you’re lost. I will help search for you. I am one of you. You are not alone. We matter.”
Thank you, Torre. Thank you for your courage, your beautiful vulnerability and for inspiring so many.